I’m just back from Farmington, New Mexico where I spoke to a wonderful group of staff at San Juan College. san juan collegeIt was an in-service day, and my job was to motivate this group of hard working staffers, give them a chance to turn into a stronger team, and to facilitate some creative ideas how to improve morale. San Juan has been through some tough times lately, and is dealing with change. My job was to help make work more fun…and in turn help this group be more productive.

It was a total blast. There were many highlights, but let’s go over a few:

san juan collegeThis group started of ticked off that there was no coffee service in the morning. Ok, that was a bummer. But it became really funny because I teased them about it. And teased some more. Sure, it was a bummer to miss our coffee, but it was hardly the end of the world. We joked about it. We started laughing. A kind woman from the food service staff got me a cup of coffee. I gave it to Reid, a fun guy from the audience to pass out little “sips” to the people suffering the most from caffeine deficiency. It was a small thing that turned out great. And very, VERY funny.
I often teach people to lighten up their business meetings by putting out toys for the attendees to fiddle and fidget with. San Juan didn’t need me to tell them this…they had pipe cleaners and Play Doh on every table, plus some other toys. Check out some of these photos of some of the coolest creations.

But perhaps the biggest highlight came from the creative people in this San Juan College Audience. They were tasked with coming up with techniques or tactics they would actually implementsan juan college new mexico to make their office life more fun. They were challenged to come up with “to do” lists of what they personally would do differently based on our time together. Check out this awesome list of Humor in the Workplace ideas:

• Give candies to people who make you laugh. ( Keep ’em in your desk and give them away as reward.)

• Change ring tone on other people’s phone. The folks at San Juan College are able to set their own ring tones on their office phones. Some man snuck to a woman’s phone, and recored his own voice saying, “Are you there? Are you there?” This was her new ring tone!

• Artificial cheese “to go with your whine.” I LOVE this idea. They had some fake cheese they got at a craft shop (what in the heck anybody really needs fake cheese for I’ll never know) and they ceremoniously gave the cheese away to anybody who whines. This is wonderful.

• Create and use nicknames for co-workers. Loving and fun nicknames can make people feel good and push up the joy-quotient.

• Throw stress balls when at people who start to get to negative.

• Hit negative co-workers with a foam sword.new mexico college

• Give a toy bomb to somebody who is “Da Bomb.”

• Send memos via air mail. (Fold them into paper airplane.)

• Throw marshmellows at co-workers for “no good reason.” I’d love to see the janitorial staff after a day of marshmallow fun!

• Give “mini-sized” box of Frosted Flakes to co-worker with note, “You are Great!”

• Combat grumpy people with love and kindness. (Wow…what a deep and wonderful idea.)

• Make prank phone calls to co-workers.

• Silly String At Work. (I’m tellin’ ya… I’ve done this. Silly String is cheap, cleans up easy, and is absolutely fun. You can NOT be miserable if you are spraying Silly String! Or having it sprayed at you. It’s a no brainer…go buy some now.)

• Change a co-workers screen saver. (How creative can you get? What could you do to make this really funny?)

• Make a contest that whoever whines the most has to buy the monthly lunch your team shares.

• Contest: the most whiny person has to take take the minutes at the next boring meeting.

• Use tape loops to tape your workmate’s telephone receiver to their phone. (So when they try to answer the phone they can’t “pick up.”
• Put a small piece of tape over the laser on the bottom of somebody’s mouse. It will simulate a broken mouse. (I love this idea because it is a totally victimless practical joke or prank.)
• Change the height of a workmate’s desk chair. Do this one time and it’s funny. Do this twelve times over the course of two weeks, it’s hilarious.

Hey San Juan! I dare youLet Me Know What YOUR Highlight Was! Use the comment field to tell me about your “Ah Ha” for the day. I dare ya!

Thanks so much for having me. You make me feel like the luckiest san juan college fun audiencemotivational speaker ever!

Brad

PS. Learn more about the seminars I did for San Juan here.

3 responses to “Play Doh Explosion: Creative College Staff Laughs Through It”

  1. Angelique Rodriguez says:

    I had so much fun at in-service this year. Brad really made me think about how your attitude can affect your entire day. And, how the smallest gesture of kindness and fun can positively affect how someone else is going to handle their day. The in-service made it very clear that FUN and FRIENDSHIP is vital to the work environment. Working with friends brings a new level of loyalty, dependability, purpose and fun to a job. Friendship and fun create a supportive and productive work environment. When you have fun and friends at work, you want to be there and you want to contribute.

    Thanks everyone for all the hard work! I had a blast!

  2. Jennifer Martinez-Maestas says:

    On behalf of the San Juan College Support Staff Development Committee, we deeply appreciate and want to thank you for being the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Support Staff In-Service. All indications from the attendees point to this conference being an enormous success, which the Committee attributes to you, our inspiring presenter. The information you provided was both educational and insightful it touched the audience in a powerful and inspiring way.

    Many compliments have been received about your energetic and humorous delivery style. Even some of our most ‘attitude challenged’ employees raved about your philosophy and how much they look forward to embracing the magic and humor in their lives.

    Your insight, experience and functional suggestions, along with your colorful and enthusiastic delivery, made this the best In-service we have had yet. We look forward to future opportunities to hear you speak. The enthusiasm that you create will undoubtedly lead to better moral at San Juan College. We can’t wait to have you back at San Juan College!

    Thank you for inspiring us!!

  3. Julie C. Smith says:

    This was my first in-service at San Juan College, and it was awesome!
    Brad made it fun but still got a wonderful message across. My ah-ha moment was when I discovered that Icould be the “fun factor” in my office. It only takes one person to change the dynamic in an office, for the worse or the better! I am determined to be that force for my office.

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